Is this what they call the crescendo in music?
Maybe nothing will go where the signs point after watching The Americans Season 6 Episode 7, but Philip made a decision to support his wife before all else, and in doing so appeared to know nothing would ever be the same again.
There are some signs that Elizabeth may be feeling the same way, but her first instinct is to protect the USSR, and since that's never changed, it's not as harrowing as what we're witnessing with Philip.
Every moment felt like another penny was added to a sock to eventually strike a death blow to the Jennings. The Americans who live next door to Stan are slowly being weighted down with their own decisions and at some point in the future, Stan will be left holding that coin-filled sock and only he will know what to do with it.
Stan was already suspicious after the events at Thanksgiving and because of what he'd been tasked to do under the direction of Aderholt, so when Philip pulled the ol' "I have to help Elizabeth with a tough travel client" shtick, Stan tried to reach out.
Stan: You know, I used to ask myself, why is this guy and his wife coming home at three, four in the morning? How hard can they possibly work? What's driving them? And even now I see you and I wonder, what is going on with him? I see your stress level and I just ... I say this to you as a friend, OK? Are you involved with something?
Stan: 'Cause if something's going on, you can trust me.
Philip: I've been wanting to tell you. The business is falling apart and I think it might be going under.
Philip doesn't know the lengths Stan went to for Oleg and Nina. They were so close to each other and yet so far away that at a time when that knowledge could come in very handy, it's not there for Philip to access. They are virtual strangers when it comes to their understanding of each other.
Stan would have done what he could to protect Philip and Elizabeth and those kids if Philip had reached out at that moment. It was a Jennings family lifeline.
I keep seeing the little boy walking out of the house after Gennadi and Sofia were killed, remembering Philip's reaction to the news after Stan talked about it, and the lack of irony in Philip leaving his youngest son in the safekeeping of a man who should not be trusted.
If things go the way I expect, Stan will be the only family Henry has left by the time everything is over. Philip's love for Elizabeth all but assured that.
The way Stan dug into Henry's mind while taking him to the bus stop or train station to return to school showed Henry has no idea what his parents do. Henry is transparent. He's a kid. He offered to Stan the information he was seeking with no need to probe.
It backed up Philip's story, sure, but the effect was more relevant to Henry's future. When Stan sees the faces from the sketch artist, it will be over. It will be too late because Aderholt knows Philip and Elizabeth just as well as Stan.
If Stan were going to have a chance to intervene and save the Jennings, it was when he reached out to Philip. Once the others get involved, any chances for the Jennings are gone.
The way the two worlds interconnected was very well done. That Harvest was the FBI working the agent on the US side while Elizabeth and Marilyn tried to extract them on behalf of the KGB were well played.
How more intertwined in the world could Stan be than he is? He's at the root of all things having been involved with Nina, worked closely with Oleg in an attempt to save her, known the Jennings for years and considering Philip his best friend while for years hunting them and their comrades.
Stan even recalled what William Crandall had once said about the All-American family living in their midst with the perfect kids who Stan would never expect were spies. They're living the American dream and turning it all around.
For it to reach the pinnacle at a time when Philip has been out of the business for three years just weeks before a pact is reached between the US and the USSR for peace is ludicrous. I would love to know how many relationships on both sides of the aisle came this close in reality.
The extraction was ridiculously difficult to pull off and without Philip's help, Elizabeth wouldn't have made it out of the mission alive. Harvest was wearing one of the suicide necklaces, something Elizabeth shared with Philip when he arrived. It was as if she was pushing him to realize the importance of the mission.
It didn't matter to Marilyn or Harvest. They didn't need their suicide pills. They'll never talk anyway. Can we credit est and the forum for giving Philip the stomach to survive his gruesome hack job to keep Marilyn from identification? It's too bad they didn't notice the cameras, too.
Ridiculously, going through what they did together brought Elizabeth and Philip closer together again. Elizabeth wasn't holding the world against her husband as she was when he was being a travel agent instead of a KGB agent.
Disguised as an old couple flying was a poke at the senses as it's a dream they'll never achieve. They weren't home for but for a few moments before Elizabeth was back to work again.
The touch of her face to his was meaningful in a way it hasn't been in a very long time.
Elizabeth: I've got work.
Philip: When will you be back?
Elizabeth: Tomorrow night, if I'm lucky. Next week's the summit. [she touches his face]
It was hard not to wonder if that would be the last time the two of them would ever be together in that way.
The sock of pennies by this point would be about half full, just at the time when Elizabeth asks Paige if she understands to what she's committing herself with a life of spying. Paige doesn't, which she makes clear when she answers yes, "making a difference." But she is urged on by her parents anyway.
If she's in the process of applying for a job at the State Department when her parents are taken down as spies, looking at a college-aged daughter in that scenario would be highly suspicious. I don't have much hope for whimpy Paige surviving questioning by the FBI.
Seeing Philip on the couch, recalling his marriage to Elizabeth and making his commitment to her in conjunction with everything else was heartbreaking. His choice to stand by his wife and his American (or romantic) love for a woman he was never supposed to romantically love will be his downfall.
Stan can still offer Philip a deal if (when) things go south. Elizabeth will take her suicide pill if it comes to that. She doesn't want to, but she will. It's who she is. Philip would be taken into custody. Philip will talk. He already has, to Oleg. Oleg is on the same side as the Americans now, they just don't know it yet.
Sure, there is more to it. Nothing is black and white. But there is freedom of thought and there is the opposite. Philip, Stan, Oleg, Arkady, Aderholt and many more are fighting for freedom from tyranny. They haven't all taken the same route to get there, but they got there just the same.
How will it all end now? Will anyone other than Stan and Henry be standing as the summit ends? Will we see a peace accord before the end of The Americans Season 6? What do you all think?
Personally, I'm gutted at what I just watched. There are no winners. It's all so close and yet so beautifully maddening and sad. Be sure to watch The Americans online if you need to and drop me a comment below.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.